Archive for January, 2010

Drive-by pontification

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

(1) This winter of 2009-10 seems to be heading into the record books as a particularly cold one, and that has caused people to ask (with varying degrees of snark) whatever happened to global warming. Climate scientists assured the Associated Press that the current cold snap doesn’t undermine warming theory:

“It’s part of natural variability,” said Gerald Meehl, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. With global warming, he said, “we’ll still have record cold temperatures. We’ll just have fewer of them.”

Actually, that makes sense to me. Within any long-term trend are small, temporary counter-trends. So to my progressive friends I make this offer: I’ll acknowledge that this winter doesn’t disprove global warming if you’ll acknowledge that the recent economic setback doesn’t disprove that an appropriately regulated free market is the best path to prosperity. After all, one contrary blip doesn’t prove much — right?

(2) Newsweek magazine didn’t set out three weeks ago to muddy the distinctions between conservatives and liberals, but that’s exactly what its piece on lawyer Ted Olson accomplished. Olson, who has played key roles in several Republican administrations, is now seeking to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriages. As the magazine explains:

As a conservative, [Olson] says he believes in individual liberty and freedom from government interference in the private lives of citizens. Discriminating against people because of sexual orientation is a violation of both.

Exactly. That’s a classically conservative line of thinking. In fact, I’d push that argument even further along. The government should get out of the business of certifying marriages entirely. If two people feel that their union needs a blessing, let churches provide it (or not, depending on the church’s belief). What business does government have refereeing who marries and who doesn’t?